Villa Park candidate still in race after racy photos surface - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Villa Park candidate still in race after compromising photos surface

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Racy photos that surfaced on the internet Wednesday of Villa Park village president candidate John Heidelmeier have not shut the contender out of the race.

Heidelmeir is a well-known person in Villa Park. A military veteran, former cop, former police chief, and now candidate for village board president, residents say Heidelmeier had a good shot of winning. But now, his campaign has been sidetracked by pictures on a paid sex website--including one where he's holding his exposed genitals.

Heidelmeier admits he sent lewd images of himself to a sex website, which then posted the pictures online. 

The website says it specializes in phone sex and it appears the pictures were taken from Heidelmeier's webcam.

A pair of photographs of a man exposing himself appear in the "blackmail pics" section of a website that offers "Your Most Diverse Phone Sex Experience ... Because Anything Goes."

Heidelmeier's name appears above and below the photographs, and a link titled "Running for office" connects to the Facebook page for Heidelmeier's campaign.

That link appears to have been posted in the early morning hours of March 15.

Nobody answered the door at Heidelmeier's home Thursday, but in a statement sent to FOX 32 News late Wednesday night,  Heidelmeier said he has not done anything illegal, and that the pictures do not diminish his ability to serve the people of Villa Park.

"I am aware that a website surfaced today which contains private pictures of me that are personally embarrassing," the statement read in part. "I regret that this private situation became public and I apologize to my supporters, but more importantly to my wife and family. This is unquestionably not fair to them."

Heidelmeier said that he appreciates the continued support he has received from his potential constituents. He also described his wife's belief in him as "unwavering."

"How this became public is meaningless," the statement read. "But I want to assure my opponent and supporters that I will stay steadfast in the race and let the voters take a careful look at the real issues facing Villa Park on April 9th."

"What happens behind closed doors... I don't know what to say about it," says Village Park trustee candidate and Heidelmeier supporter Rich Biagioli.

"This may hurt him a little bit. Some people won't like it. Some people may not care," Biagioli says. "He's done a good job and he's showing he really really wants to contribute to this town."

Heidelmeier's opponent for village board president, Deborah Bullwinkle, didn't want to go on camera to talk about the internet pictures, but told FOX 32 by phone: "it's a very unfortunate circumstance. Right now I want to honor his family's privacy."

Villa Park voters will have the final say on Heidelmeier's actions when they go to the polls on April 9. For now, reaction appears to break down along gender lines.

"I don't think I could [vote for him]," one woman says. "Ethics, family. Just your morals in general…and it's kind of like a sex offender."

"I'm still voting for him," another man told our cameras. "He hasn't done anything illegal."

Another male told FOX 32 News that he still think Heidelmeir is the best man for the job and that "there are a lot of politicians that have done a lot worse."

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